Born of a small mill town in the north of Quebec, Nathalie Marcotte’s fortunes were shaped by the paper company that was the center of the town’s economy—and her father’s employer. “I fell into the process industries when I was quite young,” she says, of touring the mill with her father and succumbing to its spell. “It was a bit like the French tale of Obelix, the young boy who falls into a cauldron of magic potion and is changed forever,” she said.
Marcotte followed that fascination with manufacturing in general and automation in particular to Quebec University, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, a master’s in applied sciences, then landed at a paper-maker where she specialized in process control and optimization. “I traveled from site to site within the company, and grew to truly understand the end-user perspective,” she said.
It’s a perspective that has served her well since joining Foxboro Canada in 1996, which in 2014 became part of the Schneider Electric organization. She’s since held numerous roles of increasing responsibility, including vice president of Global Performance and Consulting Services; vice president, North America marketing; general manager for the Canadian business; and, prior to her current position, vice president, marketing, Global Systems Business.
As the company’s current senior vice president, Industrial Automation Services, she is responsible for Schneider’s services business and offer development, ranging from product support to advanced operations and digital services. She is also responsible for the company’s Global Cybersecurity Services & Solutions business, including the Product Security Office. “I’ve touched pretty much all the elements of the organization,” she says.
This week, at the company’s Innovation Days conference for users of its Foxboro and Triconex systems, it was announced that Marcotte will take the helm of the company’s Process Automation business as president. Marcotte succeeds Gary Freburger, who will retire at year’s end.
‘Business as usual’
“After a long, successful industry career, including more than 15 years serving Invensys and Schneider Electric in various senior leadership positions, Gary has decided to retire,” said Peter Herweck, executive vice president, Industrial Automation business, Schneider Electric. “We thank him for his many contributions and his strong legacy of success. We wish him well, and I congratulate Nathalie on her appointment. She brings more than 30 years of industry knowledge, expertise and experience, as well as a long record of success. I look forward to working with her as we build on the success Gary has delivered.”
“As we move through this transition, it will be business as usual for Schneider Electric and our Process Automation customers,” Marcotte said. “Gary and I are working very closely together to ensure there will be no disruptions to our day-to-day operations. This ensures our customers have the same access to the exceptional people, products and technology they have come to trust and rely on to improve the real-time safety, reliability, efficiency and profitability of their operations.”
Under Freburger’s leadership, the company’s Process Automation business has become a critical component of the overall Schneider Electric value proposition and portfolio. The company continues to invest in its flagship EcoStruxure Foxboro process automation and EcoStruxure Triconex process safety systems, solutions and software, a vision Marcotte shares.
“I thank Gary for his many contributions to Schneider Electric and to our industry in general. Under his leadership, our customers, partners and employees have never been better situated to succeed, today and tomorrow,” Marcotte said. “This transition will have no impact on our technology strategy and portfolio roadmap. We remain committed to our continuously-current philosophy, which means never leaving our customers behind. Now, by leveraging the strength of the full Schneider Electric offer, we can take the next step toward enabling an easier, less costly digital transformation for our customers, while keeping them on the path to a safer, more secure and profitable future.”